Q&A with Marjorie Waldo of Arts Garage

We chat with the CEO of the Delray Beach performing arts venue about its female-centric March programming.

Marjorie Waldo, CEO and president of Arts Garage in Delray Beach.
Photos courtesy of Dangerwing Photography and Arts Garage.

Marjorie Waldo wants people to know how amazing women are. To get the message across, the president and CEO of Arts Garage in Delray Beach and her team designed a March lineup that commemorates Women’s History Month. Beyond showcasing awesome female musicians, comics, and artists, the programming will also continue the conversation about artistic representation.

In addition to a “We Can Do It!” exhibition featuring works by three emerging women artists, Arts Garage will host female talent on its main stage all month long. On March 6, jazz vocalist Svetlanawill present lush renditions of classic cinematic tunes from her second album, Night at the Movies, accompanied by the New York Swing Collective. Later, on March 27, the Yoko Miwa Trio will share works from their latest release, Keep Talkin’. Lauded for bringing poetic mastery to jazz piano, Miwa’s layered, lyrical compositions push the limits of the genre and personify the passion and excellence that the month’s performers embody.

PBI recently caught up with Waldo to discuss the March programming at Arts Garage and the role of representation in the arts.

PBI: Why did Arts Garage feel it was important to feature a female lineup in the month of March to honor Women’s History Month?

Waldo: To me, it is super important for organizations that have a platform to be as inclusive as they can and to celebrate the diversity of our community. And for March in particular, we wanted to showcase just an amazing amount of talent generated by women. We think that it’s important. We know how much women do in our community and we celebrate that. It’s absolutely reflected in the art world. Arts Garage believes that art and music matter, simply put. They’re transformative experiences. The thought that people would see the amazing talent on stage in the month of March and realize that we’re talking about women almost completely through the varied talent and strength of those performers—that’s incredible.

Putting female performers on stage starts a conversation and continues it. It gives people access and a platform to get the message out there.

 It’s inspirational to the community. It changes perception and it inspires women [of all ages] to see that kind of strength on the stage and to know that [we] are a part of that strength. Some level of didacticism is important. People need to be taught in a very direct and literal way about the changes that we’re attempting to make and the struggle that stands for all issues related to equity. There’s real value in a showcase—it doesn’t need words. Here it is, live in front of you. Modeling is some of the best teaching and learning. It’s absorbed invisibly. It becomes part of your being and you’re impacted without even realizing it.

With modeling and internalizing the experience of Arts Garage’s March programming in mind, what do you hope audiences take away from this lineup?

I would love to think that our audiences won’t notice—even though I programmed this very specifically and directed the programming in the gallery to make sure that it lined up with that of the main stage. I am truly hopeful that we are at a point where my audience—a very intelligent, cultured audience that has a love for a diverse selection of musical genres—just expects this of the world. I hope that the women on stage feel completely celebrated. Everyone should love women. We’re amazing!

Who are you particularly excited to see?

I’m really excited about Yoko Miwa [March 27]. I think she’s incredibly talented. Svetlana [March 6] is amazing. I like them all. Lauren Mitchell [March 28] has a connection with her audience that I’ve never seen in another performer. She feeds off of the audience and makes them feel like they know her personally. I can’t wait to see Miami Girls Tumbao [March 22]. I think it’s going to be fantastic and I don’t know how I’m going to miss any of it. It’s going to be a long month—I have to see a bunch of them.

How would you define what these women possess and bring to the stage?

I would say passion, excellence, and love for their craft. All of these are powerful forces, and they’re all very powerful performers.

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